I was searching through old photos and came across this image from a few years ago. I had forgotten about it, thought it was a "mistake", but didn't delete it. That in itself sums up how I'm feeling about this year so far. It seems like one big mistake, but we mustn't delete it. You know they say, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Well I would say, in spite of all these "trials by fire", we must all be getting pretty strong by now.
The photo is an extreme close up of a flower. Not sure if it was a hibiscus or something else. But it clearly evokes thoughts of a flame burning. And it seems like the world is on fire; not unlike when the Holy Spirit was described to descend into the early Christians establishing the early church. (My Biblical knowledge is sketchy to say the least, but I think you get the point).
Anyway, this image is one I am meditating on for now. Perhaps some peace will come of it. But for now, I am ready for this year to be "reborn". If not of the Spirit, then of our souls. Amen.
For those who may wonder about Pentacost of the birth of the Christian church, here a link to start you off: Pentacost
Ancient philosopher Epictetus (A.D. 55-135) gave this advice:
"Welcome present circumstances and accept the things whose time has arrived. Keep your will in line with events".....
In other words, it is what it is. Acceptance of it, as a reality, is the only thing that can keep you sane.
Like everyone during this time of keeping to ourselves, staying home and isolation, I've had a lot of time to reflect on how things came to be this way. But even in my wildest dreams, I did not see the reality we are living in now. It does seem the result, though, of our actions of the past. Even so, we are here now. We cannot change it. We can only accept things and work toward a different reality tomorrow.
Not that easy.
On some level I blame myself for this situation. I was craving time to myself, time away from people and the world. This is not what I envisioned, however. You know what they say about being careful what you wish for.
Anyway, here we are. Well into our third month of the world pandemic: the pandemic that changed everything, shut down everything and brought out the best AND the worst in everyone. It does no good to rail against the world as it is right now. It is what it is.
Eckhardt Tolle, spiritual teacher and author , wrote:
In other words, don't argue with what IS (in your mind or out aloud). No useless complaining, blaming, getting irritated, making wrong. It's an enormous waste of energy. It diminishes your ability to think clearly and take effective action. It contaminates your life with negativity, and then you spread it to others. So: GETTING WHAT YOU WANT is great. WANTING WHAT YOU GET is greater.
Seems true to me. More so now than ever before.
I was surprised to find a new bloom on my amaryllis. The red had just come and gone, so I just assumed it was done. And then this new bloom shot up almost over night and bloomed almost before my eyes. I caught this little video at a quiet moment with just my wind chimes singing. The zen of it all captured my heart and my should. Both have been aching of late.
I recommend keeping your eyes and ears open. So much is going on as if there is nothing wrong. Spring is still springing. The wind is still singing. Tap into the zen. Be quiet and listen. And let the healing begin.
We are prisoners of the present, in perpetual transition
from an inaccessible past to an unknowable future.
--Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter
Every so often I forget everything is different now. I leave the house to go for a walk and realize suddenly I've forgotten my mask and rush home to get it. I think to myself I will run over to Trader Joe's for some of my favorite TJ's Olive Oil Potato Chips and Carmel Swirl Ice Cream, and maybe pick up some fresh flowers and then I realize there is always a line now waiting to get into the crowded little store and fear overtakes me, so I stay home and order groceries from Stater's or Ralphs' via Instacart.
For some reason, this song started playing in my head:
Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you
--Stuck In The Middle With You · Stealers Wheel
Starting the ninth week here in California of the "stay at home" order, it is difficult, nay, impossible to not feel like a prisoner. As Dr Tyson said recently, we are indeed prisoners of the present in every sense of the word. We cannot return to "normal: the time before the pandemic" nor can we move forward to the "new normal: time post the pandemic". So I along with everyone else, am stuck in this state of perpetual transition. No wonder I occasionally fell like I've gone mad.
So here we are. Stuck. In the middle. Remembering how it once was...not so long ago. And wondering how it will be...someday somehow, when this all passes. And it will pass. But who will we be? Who will I be? Will I even be alive to see it? Do I want to see it? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, "prisoners of the present" waiting to see when we will break the virus' hold on us and set us free.
Meanwhile, here's the video from the movie Reservoir Dog. It is also now the theme song for Netflix' Grace and Frankie